The warm summer months are the perfect time to spend a lot of time with your horse.Unfortunately, it's this time of year that can become a real ordeal for your horse. Annoyingflies get intoyour horse's eyes, nostrils and mouth. Horseflies also leave painful bites andcause your loved one to itch. You've probably been stung by a horsefly yourself and cansympathize with your horse. Many horses excitedly flap their tails, shear their hooves, andtoss their heads violently to rid themselves of the pests. Horseflies are not only annoying foryour horse but can also transmit dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease or anthrax viabites. They especially like to sting your horse between the shoulderblades, because his tailflap does not reach this region. Your horse is thus completely defenseless against the sneakybloodsuckers. Many horses therefore also react with fear or panic. They become restless andcan hardly concentrate on training. This canthen also be dangerous for you as a rider.Brakes can fly up to 6.5 km/h, which is why running away is often not an option, especiallysince the next brake is already waiting for you around the corner. So that you and your horsecan still enjoy the warm summer months, you will find a few tips and tricks here.
Horseflies are attracted to heat and the smell of sweat. The less your horse sweats, thefewer horseflies will be attracted. You should therefore move particularly strenuous trainingsessions to the evening hours or early morning and take shorter rides at walking pace atmidday. This is because horseflies are especially on the lookout for potential victims duringthe hot midday hours. By taking advantage of the right time of day for your training, you cando your horse a lot of good. When riding out, you should avoid bodies of water such as lakesor streams. This is where horseflies and mosquitoes lay their eggs and are therefore morelikely to be found. After your horse has sweated more, you should definitely shower him toquickly get rid of the smell of sweat. ShieldOn's Protect Shampoo+Care is perfect for thisquick shower and protects your horse from mosquitoes and other insects with natural lemoneucalyptus oil.
Vinegar water and garlic
You can also rub your horse with a mixture of vinegar water and garlic just before a trainingsession or a short ride. Brakes do not like this smell. They will therefore mostly stay awayfrom your horse. In addition, the vinegar-garlic mixture is also a good and natural coat careand can counteract itching and inflammation. Unfortunately, the protection does not lastvery long, and you must reapply it more often. However, be careful here: too high aconcentration of vinegar can irritate your horse's skin.Vinegar in moderation and not inmasses!
A horsefly trap is an especially effective protection that can keep your horse safe fromhorseflies not only this summer, but also next year. Horse flies often have only onegeneration per year. If you manage to catch some of them with the trap, they will not beable to reproduce this year and the population will be significantly minimized next year. It'sbest to place several traps strategically around the barns and paddock to catch as many ofthe pesky bloodsuckers as possible.
Protection through textiles
To ensure that horse flies and horseflies have no chance of reaching your horse's coat andskin, you can use textile aids. Fly blankets, eczema blankets and fly hoods offer efficientprotection, especially when your horse is in the paddock or pasture. The mouth parts of thehorseflies cannot get through the fabric and can protect your horse. With blankets, it isimportant to make sure that they cover as much of the horse's body as possible. Checkcarefully if they also cover the neck and belly area of your horse. There are also special ridingfly protection blankets that your horse can wear. Especially in very high temperatures,however, caution is advised when using blankets. Heat accumulates underthe blanket. If itgets too hot, your horse can suffer a heat stroke. Therefore, when using blankets, make surethat the fabric is as breathable as possible. Especially because flies like to get into the moistareas of the eyes, nostrils and ears, fly hoods are essential in summer. Especially in the eyearea flies often cause unpleasant inflammations. You should make sure that hoods, masksand blankets fit well. If they are too tight or wide, they will chafe your horse's skin. Horsefliescan crawl under the fabric of ill-fitting blankets and drive your horse crazy. Some horses,unfortunately, also shy away from masks or strip them off in the pasture. You shouldtherefore try to find the ideal solution for your horse's needs. For example, there are fringedbands that fall loosely over your horse's eyes to keep out horseflies. If your horse won'taccept a fly hood or mask, you might want to try one.
Protective sprays have proven to be particularly effective in the fight against horseflies. Theywork through natural essences or artificial additives. This makes your horse smell unpleasantto horseflies and they avoid it. Protective sprays usually work immediately and last for a fewhours. If necessary, they can also be reapplied to guarantee optimal protection. Spraysbased on natural ingredients are especially recommended. Some horses react with allergiesto artificial additives and get rashes. Some chemical ingredients can even be very dangerousfor pregnant horses and their foals and should therefore be avoided at all costs. You shouldalso protect yourself, as you could also inhale the toxic ingredients when applying it.ShieldOn's extra strength horsefly spray is a pure plant-based protection based on lemoneucalyptus oil. It provides immediate help against horseflies and has a long-lasting effect. Inaddition, the brake spray has a virtually silent spray mechanism. When activating the handle,no loud cracking noise can be heard, which could scare your horse. The spray mist is alsolong-lasting, so you should have your horse relaxed and quickly sprayed with just a fewpump bursts.
This may sound very far-fetched at first, but zebra stripes can also provide protection fromhorseflies. Researchers have observed in nature that zebras are less frequently attacked byhorseflies and flies. They have concluded that their unusual striping must be responsible forthis. Because of the pattern, horseflies and flies cannot see outlines clearly. That's why theyfly at striped animals less often. Don't worry you don't necessarily have to buy a new blanketin a striped pattern. You can easily paint the stripes yourself. You can mix your own naturalcolor with a mixture of water and flour or charcoal. You can also use finger paint or specialmarking paints. The important thing is that the stripes contrast as much as possible with thecolor of your horse's coat. A dark horse should have light stripes and a light horse darkstripe. The narrower you paint the stripes, the greater the effect. Also make sure that thestripes run vertically like a zebra.
If your horse does get hit, cooling gels or cold packs can quickly relieve the pain and itching.Natural gels based on lavender or mint, for example, are highly recommended. Rubbing asliced onion on the affected area can also relieve swelling and has an anti-inflammatoryeffect. By the way, you can also use the onion yourself, should you ever get a gadfly. Becausenot only your horse, but also you suffer from the pests.Unfortunately, you cannot completely avoid horseflies and flies in summer. The tips andtricks can still help you and especially your horse to make the summer more pleasant.